Alternative Fuel and Transportation

Published on September 14th, 2009 | by Jennifer Lance

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Auto Dealer Industry Files Suit to Block CA Emissions Limits

Here we go again…now that California has finally gotten a Clean Air Act waiver from Obama’s  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate emissions from cars and trucks, the auto dealer industry has responded with a lawsuit.  On September 10, 2009, the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Automobile Dealers Association filed suit to block this waiver.  The groups are concerned other states will follow California’s lead, which applies to current model year vehicles.  They are also concerned that global warming is an international concern and not a state issue.

Photo by drb62Auto dealers fight CA greenhouse gas regulations

Auto dealers fight CA greenhouse gas regulations

After five years of Bush’s refusal to allow the state to implement its greenhouse gas regulations, Lisa Jackson granted the waiver to California stating it was “consistent with the Clean Air Act as it’s been used for the last 40 years.”  This decision was praised by environmentalists.   Frank O’Donnell, executive director of Clean Air Watch, called it “the single biggest step taken so far by the Obama administration against global warming”.

The lawsuit does not have the support of Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, according to Charles Territo, “We share the Obama administration’s goals of increasing fuel economy and reducing carbon dioxide emissions and remain committed to the national program announced last May.”  Mary Nichols,  California Air Resources Board chairperson concurs:

We are very disappointed that these parties continue to pursue an outdated course of action designed to obstruct and oppose efforts to move us toward a cleaner environment and greater energy security, and we are confident that E.P.A. will prevail in court. California has led the nation on aggressive greenhouse gas reduction efforts, and has shown you can protect the environment and create jobs at the same time.

Center for Auto Safety Safe Climate Campaign director Dan Becker adds, “It’s not surprising that polluting industries would throw the kitchen sink to try to block the E.P.A. from controlling global warming pollution, but it is unfortunate.”

How will the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia respond?  Environmentalists are confident the waiver will stand.  You would think that after the huge success of the Clash for Clunkers program, the auto dealers would be content with the Obama administration.





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